Parliamentary replies

Heavy vehicle speeding: Controls under review

The Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority are reviewing measures to curb speeding by heavy vehicles, and changes will be announced later this year.

Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee said this in Parliament yesterday, in reply to a question filed by Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC).

Raising the issue of heavy vehicle speeding, Mr Ng asked if the Government would consider putting speed counters on those which ferry passengers. These devices would register each time the speed limit is exceeded for a prolonged period.

Mr Lee said his ministry will consider this. He also told the House that the law already requires speed limiters to be installed for goods vehicles with a maximum laden weight exceeding 12 tonnes and for public service vehicles exceeding 10 tonnes. These limiters restrict the maximum speed to 60kmh.

Vehicle owners are also required to send their vehicles for annual inspections to ensure these limiters are working. For vehicles caught speeding, there will be additional inspections imposed.

Additionally, those found tampering with the speed limiters can be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned up to three months, while repeat offenders can be fined up to $2,000 or imprisoned up to six months.

Mr Ng also asked if there was a fine- and demerit-point system for heavy vehicle drivers caught speeding.

Mr Lee said current penalties include fines ranging from $160 to $200 and four to eight demerit points for exceeding the speed limit by up to 40kmh.

Those who exceed the speed limit by more than 40kmh will be charged in court and given 12 to 24 demerit points, Mr Lee added.

According to Traffic Police statistics, the number of fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles rose by 34 per cent, from 32 cases in 2012 to 43 cases in 2013. In 2014, there were 44 cases.

Mr Ng said: "Most of us on the ground can see that a lot of the heavy vehicles are speeding, especially those carrying passengers in the back. I think if an accident happens, it's the loss of a lot of lives, including other commuters on the road."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2016, with the headline 'Heavy vehicle speeding: Controls under review'. Print Edition | Subscribe